Billy Miles & Bros. Grain Elevator

In 1882, Billy Miles opened a livery and sale stable on lower Main Street. Among his customers were the Northern Pacific stockyards, Yellowstone National Park, and the British army. In 1906, Billy and his brothers, Tom and Boyd, constructed this 75,000-bushel grain elevator. It is one of two such structures built in Livingston to store the wagonloads—and later truckloads—of wheat harvested by area farmers. To support the weight and pressure of the grain within, the elevator’s lower stories were built of heavy timbers and “cribbed” (or stacked) lumber. Metal sheeting protected the structure from both weather and from stray sparks thrown off by passing trains. Originally a “chop house” for producing feed also stood at the building’s northeast end. When farmers delivered their grain, it was weighed and unloaded into the area under the elevator. The grain moved up to the headhouse via the “legs”—three vertical belt-and-bucket conveyor belts encased in wooden shafts. From there, operators would send the grain back down chutes into one of the many reinforced bins on the lower levels. When markets were favorable, the grain was loaded onto railcars for shipment to national and international markets. The grain elevator has had several owners over the years, including Walter and Dick Teslow (1952-1971), whose ghost sign still announces their products: “Grain, Seed, Feed, and Hay.” After ceasing operation in 2000, the elevator came under threat of demolition. In response, in 2016, the local community rallied to “Save the Teslow,” preserving it for future generations.

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711 E Park St., Livingston, MT ~ private